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 August 2006 Global Notebook

Constance A. Morella Named Recipient of Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award

The U.S. World Standards Day Planning Committee has named Constance A. Morella, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as the recipient of the Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. The theme of the 2006 World Standards Day celebration, “Standards Build Partnerships,” pays tribute to the people and collaborative partnerships that have led to significant advancements in standardization. Morella is being recognized for her role in advancing the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act — a landmark legislation that represents a key partnership between the public and private sectors. During her tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a senior member of its Committee on Science, Morella was instrumental in securing approval of the NTTAA by Congress and the president in 1996. The legislation, which called for federal agencies to adopt voluntary consensus standards as alternatives to federally developed specifications, has had far-reaching benefits for the standards community and has saved millions of dollars in federal expense. The Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award, named after the late U.S. secretary of commerce, recognizes demonstrated leadership in promoting the role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade.

NSF Announces Grant to Support New Engineering Research Center for Fluid Power

The National Science Foundation recently announced a $15 million, five-year grant to support the new Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. Discovering ways to reduce fuel consumption, developing devices for people with mobility impairments and designing state-of-the-art rescue robots are just three of the goals of the new multimillion-dollar research center, which involves a nationwide network of engineering researchers and educators; manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in the fluid power industry; and the National Fluid Power Association. Industry partners will augment NSF funding with $3 million, and seven universities involved in the center will contribute an additional $3 million. The center will be based at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Fluid-power technology encompasses most applications that use liquids or gases to transmit power in the form of pressurized fluid. The complexity of these systems ranges from a simple automobile jack to sophisticated airplane flight control actuators that rely on high-pressure hydraulic systems. Fluid power is a $33 billion industry worldwide. With help from NFPA, more than 50 companies have agreed to provide support for the research center, a level unprecedented in ERC grant history.

New CEN President Elected

During the 32nd General Assembly, the delegates of the 29 national members of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) elected Juan Carlos López Agüí of Spain as new CEN president for a three-year term. López Agüí will take office in January 2007 until December 2009. López Agüí takes over from Michael Kelly of the United Kingdom, who has led CEN since 2004. Previously, López Agüí was a board member of the Spanish CEN member, AENOR, and represented the Spanish and European cement industry. He also teaches at the Madrid University. López Agüí has been actively involved in standardization work both at the European and national levels. He is currently the general director of the Spanish Institute of Cement and its Applications.

ACI Creates CEU Program

As more and more states require that engineers and others earn continuing education credits prior to license renewal, the American Concrete Institute has launched a new program to address this issue. Individuals in the concrete industry can earn continuing education units by participating in online courses sponsored by ACI. This service is free to ACI members (who are eligible to take up to eight courses per year) and available for a fee to nonmembers. Each course consists of a free downloadable document that participants read and study, followed by an exam keyed to that document. When an exam is successfully completed, ACI issues a certificate of completion and retains a permanent record of all online course activity. Each course is valued at 0.1 CEU, equivalent to 1.0 professional development hour.

Matrix Compares ADA Guidelines to 2006 International Building Code

The International Code Council has developed a free reference comparing accessibility standards to the International Building Code. The new 2006 IBC/ ADAAG Comparison compares three accessibility resources: the 2004 Americans with Disabilities Act – Architectural Barriers Act Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities; the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines; and the 2006 IBC, which references the ICC/ANSI A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities-2003. Earlier this year, a similar matrix was made available by the U.S. Access Board, referencing the 2003 IBC with 2004 Supplement. The ICC comparison, updated to the 2006 IBC, will serve a wider audience as more jurisdictions adopt the 2006 International Codes and federal agencies implement the new ADA-ABA Guidelines. Places of public accommodation have to meet federal accessibility guidelines required under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 2006 IBC/ADAAG Comparison has all of the information in one resource, making it easy to see how the codes and standards relate. //

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